How does Via work?Do you know what the least profitable portion of a normal rideshare trip is? It’s the pickup and the drop off. Drivers can spend 5+ minutes playing phone tag and searching for a passenger that doesn’t quite know where they dropped their pin when they are picking them up, and then another 5+ minutes when they are forced to leave a main road to find a passenger’s exact drop off location. That’s at least 10 minutes that drivers are burning EVERY TRIP from just dropping off/picking up passengers. Via is different. Instead of having to navigate off streets, drivers only do corner-to-corner drop-offs and pickups, which saves time and helps drivers maximize their profitable hours. Via offers only corner-to-corner drop-offs on private and shared rides, however, with shared rides, drivers get a bonus multiplier for every additional passenger that you pick up. Each passenger adds anywhere from 5% – 15% to your time and distance fare in what via calls a “Sharing Premium”.
Live Customer Support“They don’t even read your messages,” says Dave, a D.C. area Uber, and Via driver. “It’s like they have a really bad A.I. system replying to your messages completely out of context.” David is a long-time driver, first with Uber, occasionally with Lyft, and now he’s focusing a lot of his time on Via because he is “Sick of the bad robots” as he puts it. If you have ever tried to deal with Uber’s customer service then you know exactly what Dave is so unhappy with. Uber’s customer support often leaves drivers, and passengers, waiting hours or even days for a response, and if there is one, you wonder if they even read your message and almost never receive a thoughtful response. With Via, you can call a real human to help you with any issue that you may have any time of the day. This means instead of getting a canned response, you get to express your issues to a real human who thinks strategically about how they can solve your problems. Novel concept I know, but one that Via nails. “When at least part of your livelihood is tied up with a company, you REALLY would like to be able to reach them.” says Dave. “It seems small in comparison to things like pay rates, but it means everything.”
Avoid the last blockPerhaps Via’s most distinguishable benefit is that Via never makes drivers go that frustrating last block to pickup or drop off a passenger. Via places drop off points strategically around your city so that you stay on the most efficient route possible, which means no more searching for that hidden driveway on the street with no lights at 9:30 in the evening. Now, this isn’t too different from Uber’s new Express POOL service where drivers will again go to a preselected intersection to drop passengers off. The difference, however, is how passengers perceive the service. Dave highlighted this difference when we spoke to him about driving for Via. “A ton of Uber Pool passengers don’t realize they got a Pooled ride. So when they figure it out, they can become less than cordial,” says David. “Now I always ask passengers if they know they’ve gotten a Uber Pool, but with POOL Express, now I just get passengers begging me to take them off my route and right to their doorstep.” You see, when passengers use Via, they know exactly what they are getting into. They didn’t accidentally click on the cheapest option, and they fully understand when you ride with Via that you’re riding with a few other people and you’ll get dropped off a few blocks from where you started. That means no “misunderstandings” with passengers and no passengers trying their hardest to convince you to drop them off at their doorstep.
Big Bonuses + Lowest Commission“The pay isn’t the only reason I drive for Via, but it doesn’t hurt,” said David when we asked him how he felt about Via’s pay rates. Via’s guaranteed hours and bonus structure make for some big days for those who drive in specific areas called Rocket Zones. A Rocket Zone is a area of a city where Via offers a fare boost of anywhere from 1.2x to 3.0x, check out a map of the Rocket Zone’s in D.C.: Not only does Via offer a huge multiplier in these zones, but Via also takes just a 10% commission for each ride. Check out a sample fair breakdown below.
Who can drive for ViaAlmost anyone with a 4-door sedan that’s newer than 2010 can drive with Via in D.C, New York, or Chicago. Via’s car requirements are as follows:
New York:Via accepts most vehicles that meet the following criteria:
- Licensed with the TLC
- Models 2011 or later
- Black, dark grey, silver, white or dark blue exterior
- Leather seats or Fabric seats 2015 or newer
Chicago:Via accepts most vehicles that meet the following criteria:
- Model year 2010 or newer for non-luxury vehicles
- Model year 2005 or newer for luxury vehicles
- All vehicles must pass a vehicle inspection